You're not ready to be a parent unless you can pass the following tests:

Mess test
Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in a wet flower bed and rub on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

Toy test
Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you may substitute roofing tacks) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake the little ones at night).

Grocery store test
Borrow one or two small goats and take them grocery shopping with you. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

Dressing test
Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag making sure that all arms stay inside.

Feeding test
Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Tie jug to ceiling fan blade. Turn fan on. Try to insert spoonfuls of oatmeal into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. When finished, dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

Night test
Fill a small cloth bag with about 10 pounds of sand. Soak the bag in warm water. At 8pm begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9pm. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10pm. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4am. Set alarm for 5am. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Physical test
(Women) Obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10% of the beans.

Physical test
(Men) Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest grocery store and do the same. On the way home purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

Final assignment: Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run wild. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.


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